skip to main content

Title: Exploration of oxidative chemistry and secondary organic aerosol formation in the Amazon during the wet season: explicit modeling of the Manaus urban plume with GECKO-A
Abstract. The GoAmazon 2014/5 field campaign took place in Manaus, Brazil, and allowed the investigation of the interaction between background-level biogenic air masses and anthropogenic plumes.We present in this work a box model built to simulate the impact of urban chemistry on biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation and composition.An organic chemistry mechanism is generated with the Generator for Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A) to simulate the explicit oxidation of biogenic and anthropogenic compounds.A parameterization is also included to account for the reactive uptake of isoprene oxidation products on aqueous particles.The biogenic emissions estimated from existing emission inventories had to be reduced to match measurements.The model is able to reproduce ozone and NOx for clean and polluted situations.The explicit model is able to reproduce background case SOA mass concentrations but does not capture the enhancement observed in the urban plume.The oxidation of biogenic compounds is the major contributor to SOA mass.A volatility basis set (VBS) parameterization applied to the same cases obtains better results than GECKO-A for predicting SOA mass in the box model.The explicit mechanism may be missing SOA-formation processes related to the oxidation of monoterpenes that could be implicitly accounted for in the more » VBS parameterization. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
5995 to 6014
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The daytime oxidation of biogenic hydrocarbons is attributed to both OH radicals and O3, while nighttime chemistry is dominated by the reaction with O3 and NO3 radicals. Here, the diurnal pattern of Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOA) originating from biogenic hydrocarbons was intensively evaluated under varying environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, sunlight intensity, NOx levels, and seed conditions) by using the UNIfied Partitioning Aerosol phase Reaction (UNIPAR) model, which comprises multiphase gas-particle partitioning and in-particle chemistry. The oxidized products of three different hydrocarbons (isoprene, α-pinene, and β-caryophyllene) were predicted by using near explicit gas mechanisms for four different oxidation paths (OH, O3, NO3, and O(3P)) during day and night. The gas mechanisms implemented the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM v3.3.1), the reactions that formed low volatility products via peroxy radical (RO2) autoxidation, and self- and cross-reactions of nitrate-origin RO2. In the model, oxygenated products were then classified into volatility-reactivity base lumping species, which were dynamically constructed under varying NOx levels and aging scales. To increase feasibility, the UNIPAR model that equipped mathematical equations for stoichiometric coefficients and physicochemical parameters of lumping species was integrated with the SAPRC gas mechanism. The predictability of the UNIPAR model was demonstrated by simulating chamber-generated SOA data undermore »varying environments day and night. Overall, the SOA simulation decoupled to each oxidation path indicated that the nighttime isoprene SOA formation was dominated by the NO3-driven oxidation, regardless of NOx levels. However, the oxidation path to produce the nighttime α-pinene SOA gradually transited from the NO3-initiated reaction to ozonolysis as NOx levels decreased. For daytime SOA formation, both isoprene and α-pinene were dominated by the OH-radical initiated oxidation. The contribution of the O(3P) path to all biogenic SOA formation was negligible in daytime. Sunlight during daytime promotes the decomposition of oxidized products via photolysis and thus, reduces SOA yields. Nighttime α-pinene SOA yields were significantly higher than daytime SOA yields, although the nighttime α-pinene SOA yields gradually decreased with decreasing NOx levels. For isoprene, nighttime chemistry yielded higher SOA mass than daytime at the higher NOx level (isoprene/NOx > 5 ppbC/ppb). The daytime isoprene oxidation at the low NOx level formed epoxy-diols that significantly contributed SOA formation via heterogeneous chemistry. For isoprene and α-pinene, daytime SOA yields gradually increased with decreasing NOx levels. The daytime SOA produced more highly oxidized multifunctional products and thus, it was generally more sensitive to the aqueous reactions than the nighttime SOA. β-Caryophyllene, which rapidly oxidized and produced SOA with high yields, showed a relatively small variation in SOA yields from changes in environmental conditions (i.e., NOx levels, seed conditions, and diurnal pattern), and its SOA formation was mainly attributed to ozonolysis day and night. To mimic the nighttime α-pinene SOA formation under the polluted urban atmosphere, α-pinene SOA formation was simulated in the presence of gasoline fuel. The simulation suggested the growth of α-pinene SOA in the presence of gasoline fuel gas by the enhancement of the ozonolysis path under the excess amount of ozone, which is typical in urban air. We concluded that the oxidation of the biogenic hydrocarbon with O3 or NO3 radicals is a source to produce a sizable amount of nocturnal SOA, despite of the low emission at night.« less
  2. Abstract. Camphene, a dominant monoterpene emitted from both biogenic and pyrogenicsources, has been significantly understudied, particularly in regard tosecondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. When camphene represents asignificant fraction of emissions, the lack of model parameterizations forcamphene can result in inadequate representation of gas-phase chemistry andunderprediction of SOA formation. In this work, the first mechanistic study of SOA formation from camphene was performed using the Generator for Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A). GECKO-A was used to generate gas-phase chemical mechanisms for camphene and two well-studied monoterpenes, α-pinene and limonene, as well as to predict SOAmass formation and composition based on gas/particle partitioning theory. Themodel simulations represented observed trends in published gas-phase reactionpathways and SOA yields well under chamber-relevant photooxidation and darkozonolysis conditions. For photooxidation conditions, 70 % of thesimulated α-pinene oxidation products remained in the gas phasecompared to 50 % for limonene, supporting model predictions andobservations of limonene having higher SOA yields than α-pinene underequivalent conditions. The top 10 simulated particle-phase products in theα-pinene and limonene simulations represented 37 %–50 % ofthe SOA mass formed and 6 %–27 % of the hydrocarbon mass reacted. Tofacilitate comparison of camphene with α-pinene and limonene, modelsimulations were run under idealized atmospheric conditions, wherein thegas-phase oxidantmore »levels were controlled, and peroxy radicals reacted equallywith HO2 and NO. Metrics for comparison included gas-phasereactivity profiles, time-evolution of SOA mass and yields, andphysicochemical property distributions of gas- and particle-phaseproducts. The controlled-reactivity simulations demonstrated that (1)in the early stages of oxidation, camphene is predicted to form very low-volatility products, lower than α-pinene and limonene, which condenseat low mass loadings; and (2) the final simulated SOA yield for camphene(46 %) was relatively high, in between α-pinene (25 %) andlimonene (74 %). A 50 % α-pinene + 50 % limonene mixture was then used as a surrogate to represent SOA formation from camphene; while simulated SOA mass and yield were well represented, the volatility distribution of the particle-phase products was not. To demonstrate the potential importance of including a parameterized representation of SOA formation by camphene in air quality models, SOA mass and yield were predicted for three wildland fire fuels based on measured monoterpene distributions and published SOA parameterizations for α-pinene and limonene. Using the 50/50 surrogate mixture to represent camphene increased predicted SOA mass by 43 %–50 % for black spruce and by 56 %–108 % for Douglas fir. This first detailed modeling study of the gas-phase oxidation of camphene and subsequent SOA formation highlights opportunities for future measurement–model comparisons and lays a foundation for developing chemical mechanisms and SOA parameterizations for camphene that are suitable for air quality modeling.« less
  3. Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a dominant contributor of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, but the complexity of SOA formation chemistry hinders the accurate representation of SOA in models. Volatility-based SOA parameterizations have been adopted in many recent chemistry modeling studies and have shown a reasonable performance compared to observations. However, assumptions made in these empirical parameterizations can lead to substantial errors when applied to future climatic conditions as they do not include the mechanistic understanding of processes but are rather fitted to laboratory studies of SOA formation. This is particularly the case for SOA derived from isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX SOA), for which we have a higher level of understanding of the fundamental processes than is currently parameterized in most models. We predict future SOA concentrations using an explicit mechanism and compare the predictions with the empirical parameterization based on the volatility basis set (VBS) approach. We then use the Community Earth System Model 2 (CESM2.1.0) with detailed isoprene chemistry and reactive uptake processes for the middle and end of the 21st century under four Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs): SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, SSP3–7.0, and SSP5–8.5. With the explicit chemical mechanism, we find that IEPOX SOA is predicted to increasemore »on average under all future SSP scenarios but with some variability in the results depending on regions and the scenario chosen. Isoprene emissions are the main driver of IEPOX SOA changes in the future climate, but the IEPOX SOA yield from isoprene emissions also changes by up to 50 % depending on the SSP scenario, in particular due to different sulfur emissions. We conduct sensitivity simulations with and without CO2 inhibition of isoprene emissions that is highly uncertain, which results in factor of 2 differences in the predicted IEPOX SOA global burden, especially for the high-CO2 scenarios (SSP3–7.0 and SSP5–8.5). Aerosol pH also plays a critical role in the IEPOX SOA formation rate, requiring accurate calculation of aerosol pH in chemistry models. On the other hand, isoprene SOA calculated with the VBS scheme predicts a nearly constant SOA yield from isoprene emissions across all SSP scenarios; as a result, it mostly follows isoprene emissions regardless of region and scenario. This is because the VBS scheme does not consider heterogeneous chemistry; in other words, there is no dependency on aerosol properties. The discrepancy between the explicit mechanism and VBS parameterization in this study is likely to occur for other SOA components as well, which may also have dependencies that cannot be captured by VBS parameterizations. This study highlights the need for more explicit chemistry or for parameterizations that capture the dependence on key physicochemical drivers when predicting SOA concentrations for climate studies.« less
  4. Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol derived from isopreneepoxydiols (IEPOX-SOA) is thought to contribute the dominant fraction oftotal isoprene SOA, but the current volatility-based lumped SOAparameterizations are not appropriate to represent the reactive uptake ofIEPOX onto acidified aerosols. A full explicit modeling of this chemistryis however computationally expensive owing to the many species and reactionstracked, which makes it difficult to include it in chemistry–climate modelsfor long-term studies. Here we present three simplified parameterizations(version 1.0) for IEPOX-SOA simulation, based on an approximateanalytical/fitting solution of the IEPOX-SOA yield and formation timescale.The yield and timescale can then be directly calculated using the globalmodel fields of oxidants, NO, aerosol pH and other key properties, and drydeposition rates. The advantage of the proposed parameterizations is thatthey do not require the simulation of the intermediates while retaining thekey physicochemical dependencies. We have implemented the newparameterizations into the GEOS-Chem v11-02-rc chemical transport model,which has two empirical treatments for isoprene SOA (the volatility-basis-set, VBS, approach and a fixed 3 % yield parameterization), and comparedall of them to the case with detailed fully explicit chemistry. The bestparameterization (PAR3) captures the global tropospheric burden of IEPOX-SOAand its spatiotemporal distribution (R2=0.94) vs. thosesimulated by the full chemistry, while being more computationally efficient(∼5 times faster),more »and accurately captures the response tochanges in NOx and SO2 emissions. On the other hand, the constant3 % yield that is now the default in GEOS-Chem deviates strongly (R2=0.66), as does the VBS (R2=0.47, 49 % underestimation), withneither parameterization capturing the response to emission changes. Withthe advent of new mass spectrometry instrumentation, many detailed SOAmechanisms are being developed, which will challenge global and especiallyclimate models with their computational cost. The methods developed in thisstudy can be applied to other SOA pathways, which can allow includingaccurate SOA simulations in climate and global modeling studies in thefuture.

    « less
  5. Chemical mechanisms play an important role in simulating the atmospheric chemistry of volatile organic compound oxidation. Comparison of mechanism simulations with laboratory chamber data tests our level of understanding of the prevailing chemistry as well as the dynamic processes occurring in the chamber itself. α-Pinene photooxidation is a well-studied system experimentally, for which detailed chemical mechanisms have been formulated. Here, we present the results of simulating low-NO α-pinene photooxidation experiments conducted in the Caltech chamber with the Generator for Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A) under varying concentrations of seed particles and OH levels. Unexpectedly, experiments conducted at low and high OH levels yield the same secondary organic aerosol (SOA) growth, whereas GECKO-A predicts greater SOA growth under high OH levels. SOA formation in the chamber is a result of a competition among the rates of gas-phase oxidation to low-volatility products, wall deposition of these products, and condensation into the aerosol phase. Various processes – such as photolysis of condensed-phase products, particle-phase dimerization, and peroxy radical autoxidation – are explored to rationalize the observations. In order to explain the observed similar SOA growth at different OH levels, we conclude that vapor wall loss in the Caltechmore »chamber is likely of order 10−5 s−1, consistent with previous experimental measurements in that chamber. We find that GECKO-A tends to overpredict the contribution to SOA of later-generation oxidation products under high-OH conditions. Moreover, we propose that autoxidation may alternatively resolve some or all of the measurement–model discrepancy, but this hypothesis cannot be confirmed until more explicit mechanisms are established for α-pinene autoxidation. The key role of the interplay among oxidation rate, product volatility, and vapor–wall deposition in chamber experiments is illustrated.« less